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Competitive Intelligence Groups Most Effective on Their Own


June 16, 2011 - Research Triangle Park, NC

Sharing knowledge, data and analysis between Market Research teams and Competitive Intelligence (CI) teams enhances the overall value of both groups more than combining the two functions, according to a new study.

"Strategic Pharmaceutical Competitive Intelligence," a new study from pharmaceutical consulting firm Cutting Edge Information, found that while sharing data is useful, it does not mean that competitive intelligence groups should be organized within the overall market research structure. In fact, if companies want their competitive intelligence teams to reach their full potential, they must draw distinct lines between the two groups.

"Competitive intelligence teams that report into Market Research may get lost in reporting layers that separate them from decision-makers," said Adam Bianchi, COO of Cutting Edge Information. "Executives and strategic planners lose access to the real impact of competitive intelligence recommendations."

Under a 'united' structure, commingled work from competitive intelligence and market research can easily lose focus. Competitive intelligence teams' key messages can get folded under aggregated forecasts, sizing data and other top-level market research findings, diminishing the value of both competitive intelligence and market research.

Restructure the Competitive Intelligence Team for Success

In an ideal structure, Market Research is customer-focused and looks primarily at market-specific data, while Competitive Intelligence concentrates almost entirely on competitors. The study found that competitive intelligence teams placed in a separate and highly focused group receive dedicated budgets and have direct reporting lines to their organizations' decision-makers. The 'separate and cooperating' structure enables competitive intelligence teams to deliver the greatest value.

Alternately, a 'united' structure that places the competitive intelligence department under the market research umbrella can result in underfunded work. Tight resources make cutting-edge competitive intelligence efforts easy cost-cutting targets.

"Strategic Pharmaceutical Competitive Intelligence" (http://www.cuttingedgeinfo.com/research/market-intelligence/pharmaceutical-competitive-intelligence) is designed to help biopharmaceutical competitive intelligence teams increase their effectiveness and better communicate their value. The study's benchmarking metrics focus on key goals identified by research partners:

* Link dedicated competitive intelligence budgets to top-level corporate goals
* Create a thriving competitive intelligence culture
* Get competitive intelligence recommendations directly into the hands of key decision-makers

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Elio Evangelista
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MarketWire

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